We have been introducing you to Stitch Sprouts designers who worked on the recently released pattern booklets in three of our most popular yarns - For Better or Worsted, Cricket, and Squishy. To conclude the Q & A series, we are talking today to the amazing Sivia Harding!
What drew you to designing?
I was already a graphic designer when I learned how to knit. It didn't take long for me to start putting design ideas together once I knew the basics.
How do you encourage a novice to take up knitting?
I hand them beautiful yarn and nice needles. It helps so much to have good tools. Modern knitting is all about the aesthetic of beauty and craft and the lovely rhythm of working the stitches. And I point new knitters toward Ravelry, KnittingHelp, and YouTube. Online community helps tremendously.
What's your favorite LYS?
Favorite Anzula colorway? Line?
Dreamy might be my favorite. I used it for my Wild Iris cowl and it is SO wonderful to wear against your skin! I also adore Cricket, which I used for the Akiko Mitts. Wonderful stitch definition!! And hmm.. colorways. I haven't met one I don't like, but I have to say that I love neutrals, and it has been wonderful to spend time with Shiitake (for the Wild Iris). The purple undertones are amazing!!
Do you have other patterns available in our yarns?
Yes, the Wild Iris Cowl and Cuffs.
Tell us about your project in the booklet!
Akiko is a Japanese word meaning "Autumn," and these mitts that feature twisted stitches, twisted ribs, beads, and lace, mark the happy onset of autumn for me. Crisp days and chilly nights call out for mitts!
The Akiko Mitts feature a rather densely organized design with twisted stitches occurring several times in quick succession on some of the rounds. I love twisted stitch patterns! I have included a fun alternate way to do them without a cable needle, which speeds up the process so much.
Favorite TV show to watch / music to listen to while knitting?
Audiobooks! Especially ones that are narrated with English accents. Right now, I am listening to Anne Perry's William Monk series, which are narrated by the same person who narrates the Outlander series. The narrator is really important ;-)
What's the most overlooked aspect of designing or knitting a finished piece?
The process itself, which can be lengthy. I am not a fast designer, and I sometimes go back to the drawing board many times before a design sees the light of day. It can take months, which isn't something you would ever know from seeing a pattern pop up on Ravelry.
Do you teach classes? Where?
I teach all over the US and Canada for yarn shops, guilds, and other events, and offer my own retreats in the San Juan Islands as well. Between now and June 2015, I will be teaching at Madrona Fiber Arts in Tacoma, WA, then a flurry of dates in Maryland, California, Toronto, Buffalo, San Diego, and an Alaska cruise. You can find more details (and how to register) on my website here.